Category Archives: health

Having a Nut Allergy? That’s Me

“Don’t you wish to have a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup here and there?” No. I don’t. Your thoughts on how good a Peanut Butter Cup isn’t going to make me consider risking my life for trying one. Why would that be a good idea?

I’ve been allergic to peanuts and other nuts since I was less than one year old. Has it gotten better or improved? Can I try certain nuts now since I’ve gotten older? Absolutely not. In fact, it may have gotten worse. I’ve run into accidentally eating peanuts here and there while growing up, and the side effects as a result are terrible. Your face swells up like a balloon, it gets tough to breathe, and you end up vomiting, either at the beginning of the reaction or towards the end. One time I was in a grocery store eating samples like any other customer that was there, and ended up finding a nut in a product that said it may have contained nuts. It got so bad and I had such a hard time breathing that I ended up being rushed to the E.R by my parents and the doctors shot me up with Epinephrine. Another time I was at a friend’s house and ate something that had nuts in it. I had trouble breathing but decided it was a good idea to just sleep. Bad idea.

So what do I think about the price hike with the Mylan EpiPen injectors in the last year? I think it’s pretty ridiculous but there’s cheaper, generic alternatives out there that you can purchase. For the EpiPen injector price hike though, from increasing the price from $100 to $600 in the span of seven years is mind blowing to say the least. Do they know how many people have nut allergies and need that in dire situations? I believe that as a result with the big brand product increasing their prices for their product, many current EpiPen users will either be in the situation where they’ll take the risk and live without it, use expired ones if they have to renew it, or be forced to pay the increased price. Also, a lot of people don’t know that there are generic versions of the injector too. You just have to go to the pharmacist and ask for/if they have the generic Epinephrine injector. It’s around a sixth of the price of the Mylan Epipen.

So what have I done to be safe around any kinds of nuts? It’s a simple and easy answer: I try my best to avoid it. Is it tough though? Definitely. So many different things are cooked or have some sort of nut in it, and sometimes it’s difficult to decipher if something has nuts. Also, living with a partner who consistently eats peanut butter is tough. There have been horror stories where somebody with nut allergies has gotten an allergic reaction from kissing their partner who recently consumed some sort of nut. In some situations where has occurred, the person who got a reaction died. Those stories are usually what are on my mind when I’m in situations like that where my partner had just consumed peanuts. That being said, being careful is key to avoiding hurting yourself and others.

Useful Home Treatments for Constipation

Constipation is a condition of the digestive system where someone experiences tough bowel movements which happen less frequent than normal. Everyone has experienced constipation at some point in their life, and they can attest that it is not a very pleasant experience. Though it is not chronic, everyone would give anything to get their bowels back on track. The amount of time between bowel movements varies widely from one person to another.

Most people have them three times in a day while others have them twice or even once! However going for more than three days is enough to cause alarm. This is because food takes longer in the digestive tract which means the colon absorbs more water from the stool. This makes the stool hard and dry and therefore difficult and even very painful to eliminate.

Causes of Constipation

1. Low Amounts of Fiber in the Diet

Fibers act as cleaners to the digestive tract. Diets that lack fibers result in an unclean digestive tract. This, consequently, results in accumulation of food particles and wastes that block the passage and thus cause constipation

2. Physical Inactivity

People who are physically inactive, for example, those who are bedridden for several weeks, are more susceptible to constipation. This is because physical activity helps us maintain a high metabolism, and thus body processes such as digestion happen more rapidly.

3. Some Drugs

Some of the drugs that cause constipation include

Antacids that contain aluminium such as Basaljel
Diuretics such as chlorothiazide
Antidepressants such as imipramine
Narcotic pain relievers such as hydromorphone

4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

People who suffer from this condition suffer from constipation more frequently

5. Aging

As we grow older, our metabolic rate slows down. This results in a reduced rate in body functions such as digestion and thus cause constipation

6 Not Drinking Enough Water

This results in more absorption of water from the food which makes the stool hard. The result is constipation

7. Not Emptying Your Bowels when Needed

Ignoring this vital call of nature means the stool spends more time in the colon. As a result more water is absorbed from it leaving it hard and dry.

The Remedies for Constipation

1. Add Fiber-Rich Foods to Your Diet

The main role of fiber in our body is cleaning the digestive tract. They clean up the system by scrubbing off food leftovers and waste particles and even soaking up the water, thereby treating and preventing constipation. Some of these foods include cereals, almonds, beans, barley, vegetables, and fresh fruits, among many others. You should also drink plenty of water

2. Mint or Ginger Tea

Research has proven mint and ginger to be handy home remedies to digestive problems. Methanol that is contained in peppermint has an antispasmodic effect which helps relax the digestive system’s muscles and thereby allow rapid movement of food. Ginger, on the other hand, helps the digestive tract generate more heat thereby speeding up digestion through increased metabolism as heat increases the metabolic rate.

3. Healthy Facts

Oils from avocados, nuts and olive oil help in lubrication of the digestive tract and hence ease constipation.

4. Lemon Water

Citric acid present in lemon juice helps stimulate the digestive system and also flush out harmful substances such as wastes. Taking a glass of fresh lemon juice every morning or adding lemon to your tea will not only help treat and prevent constipation but also make you drink more water everyday.

5. Coffee

Coffee is a good stimulant to your body. It works by increasing metabolism through heat and thereby speeding up your trips to the toilet. Other hot drinks work just as well.

6. Raisins

Other than being rich in fiber, raisins contain tartaric acid which helps loosen stools. Research shows that people who take raisins have their food go through their digestive track in half the time it takes people who don’t. When should you call your doctor? If you experience sudden constipation that is accompanied by belly pains, cramping, or you are not able to pass stools or gas, call your doctor immediately.

7. Water

Taking a cup of water after waking up is recommended. Water helps in peristalsis and therefore helps prevent constipation.

8. Massage

Massaging the abdomen also helps in relieving constipation. It achieves this by stimulating intestinal muscles that are involved during bowel movements.

9. Taking Honey

Honey is a natural laxative. Taking a cup of honey water will help loosen stools and hence prevent and even relieve constipation.

10. Using a Sitting Stool

Using a stool to sit on during defecation helps you adopt a squatting position which helps open up the colon more and helps achieve an easier and more effective elimination of stools.

Top Benefits of a Global Atlas for Allergies

Allergic diseases today are an important health concern that affects the lives of millions of people around the world. Comprehensive documentation and effective strategies are the need of the hour to tackle allergy epidemic in a systematic way at global, regional and national levels. However, there are several areas such as education, research and development, training and clinical care where needs are still unmet. A global atlas of allergy developed by expert opinion leaders from around the world is the perfect platform and reference tool for all those involved in dealing with allergic diseases.

Building Awareness of Allergy Epidemic
Although it is estimated that over half the world’s population is sensitized and more than thirty percent have one or more allergic conditions, allergy diseases do not receive priority in national healthcare programs. This is even more evident in developing countries due to their insufficient resources and heterogeneous inhabitations. A global atlas written by leading opinion makers’ builds awareness about the socioeconomic burden of allergic conditions around the world and the need to recognize it as a top priority in healthcare strategies.

Comprehensive Information with Expert Insights
A comprehensive global atlas of allergy provides a vast array of information covering all aspects of allergy including descriptions of molecular and cellular mechanisms and risk factors to best methods for diagnosis, treatment, control, management and prevention. As a reference tool, it is of immense value to medical students, researchers, allied health workers, primary health care providers, pharmacists, policy makers, medical industry professionals, patient organizations and specialist doctors. A worldwide atlas for allergy offers guidance on how to overcome barriers such as poverty, poor infrastructure and education that are commonly observed in developing countries.

Allergy Training and Care
Two excellent ways of tackling the global allergy epidemic are optimized allergy training and clinical care. Very few professionals are involved in these two aspects because of the lack of focus on the benefits of accurate diagnosis and optimum personalized treatment. A global atlas of allergy can change this by elucidating the need for proper allergy training and care. By establishing actionable plans for strategy development and resource management, it helps policy makers worldwide take strong decisions. One significant contribution of a worldwide allergy atlas is the development of a global strategy concept that seeks to bring together various shareholders such as schools, patient organizations, pharmacist, allied and primary health care providers.

How to Access
There are some reputed organizations working to build awareness, promote research, collect and disseminate scientific information about allergies and immunologic diseases. They have already published global atlases of allergy as well as specific conditions such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and chronic rhino sinusitis that have been developed by reputed opinion leaders as desktop references with multi spectral usages. Anyone interested can go online and read them for free to gain comprehensive information on allergy conditions.